So We Are & The Rock Valley Retinue.

Last weekend I had a lot of fun playing as “So We Are and the Rock Valley Retinue” at the Rock Valley School House. We played songs from the album we recored there called “Things We’ve Learned”.

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One of the many photographs I took during the recording process was used for the record cover. It really captured the isolation of recording in Long Eddy, NY. Out now and available everywhere.

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Radiohead, New York.

IMG_7758.JPGI got last-minute tickets to see Radiohead play at Madison Square Garden this week. I tried to buy them online like everyone else but it was impossible. Radiohead are my favorite band, and one that I have followed since their very first album Pablo Honey. I remember finding a small photocopied interview with the band just before they released The Bends in the pre-internet days of 1995. I don’t think a band can possibly create that type of interest or mystery due to social media these days. I read the interview so much I’m pretty sure I could recite it word for word even now. My first Radiohead gig was in Galway in 1996. My girlfriend and I took the train out west and camped outside their hotel singing their songs with a large crowd. Later we sang along with them at the Castlegar Sports Grounds. A mix of Pablo Honey and The Bends were started off with My Iron Lung. They even played some new songs that would appear on OK Computer the following year; Let Down, Electioneering, No Surprises and Lucky along with the rare but brilliant Lift.

The following year they returned after the release of OK Computer and I received tickets from a radio station competition (Name three other bands from Oxford). They played the RDS Arena to a frenzied crowd that heaved and screamed to every song. It was the gig that inspired the song How To Disappear Completely.

Q: “What springs to mind when you look back on 1997?” Thom: “We did this show in Dublin which was by far the biggest show we’d ever done, and we were headlining in front of about 33,000 people. It was sheer blind terror. My most distinctive memory of the whole year was the dream I had that night: I was running down the [River] Liffey, stark bullock naked, being pursued by a huge tidal wave.” Q: “You could have a ball psycho-analyzing that one. Do you know what dreams mean?” Thom: “No. But I find it imperative that I write them down, just for my own sanity.” – (Rolling Stone, December 1997)

I have not been able to see them since that show. To be honest they lost me after Kid A. I left home and travelled for quit some time, the only music I had were the CDs I lugged around in my backpack. They weren’t playing Kid A or Amnesiac on the radio stations where I was passing through. To be honest, that whole part of my life is a bit of a blur, 2001 – 2004. I ended up in New York, quit music and pursued comedy and  writing for a time. I eventually returned to music and rediscovered Radiohead’s later material. Just last year I bought Kid A on vinyl from a local record store that also sells my own band’s records. Full circle.

I’m not sure exactly what it is about the band that grabbed me beside the obvious, great songs. There was a mystery to them, but also their blunt unpolished assessment of modern living, especially on OK Computer. As I was realizing that what I was learning in college wasn’t what I wanted to do in life when I graduated, they released OK Computer. It pretty much summed up the lifeless dead-end existence I was rushing towards. They were also the only band besides Pink Floyd that I felt could create entire soundscapes for me to get lost in. Their music was bigger than the band, and that’s as best a band could ever wish for. Radiohead at MSG was amazing, and worth the wait.

HiFi Records & Cafe

Yesterday I played a real fun gig at HiFi Records & Cafe as part of their one year anniversary celebrations. It was also a true celebration of all things local. (Damn fine) Beer was provided by Singlecut Brewery, wine by Crescent Wines & Spirits, all the food by Albas Pizza and The V Spot Latin Organic Restaurant and of course the music was by a bunch of local artists such as myself.

I can’t speak more highly of the small artist community that is centered around this incredible store and the support we all have had by the owner Javi. I have both albums on the shelves and it’s a buzz to see people buy it after an in-store show.

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Sickwalt closed out the festivities with a high energy show. These guys are amazing and some real characters. I never try to describe other people’s music so all I can say is to go check them out.

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Go check out the Supersmall calendar – cool stuff coming up!

Ruby Rae: The Uncanny

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I performed on bass with Ruby Rae last friday at Rockwod Music Hall Stage #2 for their album release, The Uncanny. It was a total blast and the rehearsing really paid off. I had just joined the band a few weeks (maybe over a month?!?) earlier so I had to really jump in and get the music down. Coffee is great for that. The fact that I really liked the songs helped.

It sounded great, we filled the space and all upcoming gigs will be posted on my Supersmall calender (along with all the others: So We Are, Solo, Storytelling etc). It’s just easier to that way, to have them all in the same place. Plus, i’m lazy. One calender for all will have to do.

Anyway, the album is officially released, and now i’m playing bass in a band which I have wanted to do for a long time. All is good. You can buy The Uncanny HERE or stream it HERE. 

So what’s up with Supersmall?

Well, i’ve been very busy writing music and doing solo shows. I had been toying with the idea of expanding the band and we got ourselves, hopefully, a bass player. More info on that later.

As of now, there are two things that occupy my mind to the point of distraction.

1) My wisdom tooth is cutting through my gum and all the pain that brings. I am addicted to Advil.

2) Marisa and I just purchased 15 acres of woods upstate with a cabin on it, a damn nice one too. Maybe it’s the half mile long driveway up the hill it sits on, the rivers on boths sides or its impenetrable woods that surround it–but i’m looking forward to spending as much time as possible up there when all the paper work is completed. More about that next month I hope.

In the meantime, music.